Wishing a happy book birthday today to Kiss and Repeat! To celebrate its release, I am excited to share an interview with the author, Heather Truett!
Q&A with Heather Truett
Let’s start off with a quick teaser about your book—describe Kiss and Repeat in five words:
Insecurity, Neurodiversity, Kissing, Learning, Self-Confidence
Kiss and Repeat is your debut novel. What inspired Stephen’s story?
My stories usually come from a few elements that are on my mind. When I started this one, I was thinking of my high school years and how my friends and I would keep track of how many boys we kissed, but I was also spending a lot of time at my son’s baseball games, and I noticed that when he was focused on pitching, his tics from Tourette’s vanished temporarily. Mix that in with my own nuerodivergences and an unexpected day on a bike, and you get Kiss and Repeat.
What’s your writing process like? Do you listen to music or have any rituals?
My process is always changing. The consistencies are that I cannot write with music playing, but I like music when I need to enter a character’s headspace, and I almost never write big chunks at a time. I have ADHD, and even with my meds, I work best in bursts. When I am drafting, I choose a craft book and read that or listen to Writing Excuses podcast episodes to transition my brain to writing mode.
In Kiss and Repeat, Stephen had Tourette’s Syndrome. What kind of research was required to accurately depict this?
I had already done a lot of reading and sought out experiences from those with TS, thanks to my son’s diagnosis. The World’s Strongest Librarian by Josh Hanagarne was my favorite read in that process. In addition to my own research, my publisher hired a sensitivity reader to help me insure authentic representation.
What song would you choose as a theme song for Kiss and Repeat?
The first one that comes to mind is Tal Bachman’s “She’s so High.”
What’s up next? Can you share anything about what you are currently writing?
My current YA project is #OwnVoices about an autistic girl named Liza. It’s still early in drafting, but it involves grief, cosplay, and an RV shaped like an okra. I’m working on my MFA in poetry, and in that area I am focusing on historical and legendary women, weaving their stories into my own.